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The second Carter Shield event of the term was volleyball, offering a fantastic spectacle for players and fans alike. The early afternoon saw two very interesting groups drawn, with no-one really knowing what to expect from the other colleges, as numerous University players had been drafted in for the big day. Group one saw Furness, Grizedale, County, and Pendle pitted together, while group two consisted of Fylde, Cartmel, Lonsdale and Bowland.
Group one got under way with the ever enthusiastic Furness up against Grizedale, however Grizedale eased past Furness with superior control of the volleyball, time and time again setting up the perfect opportunity to kill the point off, or waiting for the Furness mistake. Grizedale won comfortably 25-11. The second game in group one saw two teams heavily loaded with University players, in the form of County and Pendle, battling it out for what looked likely to be top spot in the group, with an exhibition of fantastic volleyball. County triumphed 25-23 in an extremely closely fought encounter that was nip and tuck all the way.
County were up against Furness in the third group game, in a match that on paper seemed a formality, however Furness battled bravely and with the whole of the sports hall thoroughly behind them, they pushed County all the way to two clear point’s scenario at 24-24. The atmosphere was unbearable for the next two players to serve with both failing to even get the ball even over the net. County soon finished the game off with the final score much closer than anyone could have anticipated at 27-25.
Pendle then picked up their first win of the day confidently but not comfortably beating their fierce rivals Grizedale 25-18. The penultimate game of the groups saw a game with a semi-final place at stake between County and Grizedale, in what was an extremely close and tense encounter, which saw Grizedale triumph 25-20 and County’s only realistic hopes of remaining in the competition resting on an upset in the final game of the group between Furness and Pendle.
Pendle knew exactly what they had to, they needed to win to qualify for the semi-finals, and a large win would guarantee that they topped the group, meaning that in theory they would have an easier semi-final opponent. Pendle were ruthless in completing their task rarely giving their opponents a look in. Pendle cruised to a 25-6 win and topped the group, with Grizedale going through in second place.
Fylde laid down the gauntlet in the opening game of group two as they demolished Cartmel 25-3 in an assured display of volleyball. The second game of group two saw the familiar match up of Lonsdale and Bowland. Lonsdale had won the Carter Shield volleyball for the two previous years, however they were severely depleted on this particular day, missing both of last year’s Men’s and Women’s University captains. Bowland made the most of this rare opportunity and dominated Lonsdale from start to finish in a comfortable 25-12 victory.
The third game of the day saw Lonsdale up against the in-form Fylde, and Lonsdale after having not dropped a set of volleyball for two years in the Carter Shield failed to make it even half way to 25 again as Fylde secured an easy 25-12 win, without having to hit too many winning shots as they waited for Lonsdale’s mistakes. Bowland versus Cartmel was the fourth game of the group, seeing a spirited performance with the crowd behind Cartmel; however this was not enough as Bowland made even lighter work of Cartmel winning 25-6.
The penultimate game of group two saw a battle for third spot and three more Carter Shield points between Cartmel and Lonsdale. Lonsdale finally began to play more as a team, in what was a fairly scrappy game, with Cartmel getting to double figures for the first time on the day, as Lonsdale picked up a surprisingly comfortable win 25-14.
The final game of the day saw the battle for top spot between Bowland and Fylde. On paper, Fylde were the better team, however Bowland were having none of this and battled their way to a 25-22 victory and top spot in the group.
This means Bowland will play Grizedale in the first semi-final and Pendle will meet Fylde in the other semi-final. It is extremely difficult to call who will win this Carter Shield event as it is impossible to know what team each college will be able to bring down to final’s day on the Sunday of Week Nine.